Caffeine & Breastfeeding

This post is for all my coffee mommas!


So you’ve heard that lactating mothers should not have coffee but you also desperately need a cuppa to power you through a sleepless night.


But is it true that you should not drink coffee while breastfeeding? Let’s get down to it.





1. Which is the culprit? Coffee or caffeine?

Caffeine exists in most of the things that we consume today. This natural stimulant with a bitter taste wakes the nervous system, making us feel more alert. Coffee, in particular, is a major source of caffeine.



2. Will breastmilk taste different?

So many research studies have been conducted to show the correlation between breastfeeding and coffee.


Yes, coffee will affect the taste of your breastmilk. Just like eating bitter gourd will result in a bitter taste in your milk.


If you have been drinking coffee consistently while the baby is in-utero, chances are your baby is already accustomed to the smell and taste of coffee. Hence, a baby would be less likely to react to your coffee intake, as compared to a baby who was not exposed to caffeine at all.



3. How much is too much?

Usually very little of the caffeine that you consumed end up in your breastmilk. (source)


However, the body of a newborn baby cannot process caffeine efficiently, therefore, there will be accumulation of caffeine in your baby’s system. Some babies may be sensitive to caffeine, and will appear more fussy or wakeful. The only way to tell is to watch your baby.


Caffeine ingestion peaks 1-2 hours after, so do take that into consideration.


4. Will drinking coffee affect my supply?

The myth that caffeine will decrease milk supply is widespread. However, there is no conclusive evidence to support this.


Interesting to note, caffeine can be found in tea, soft drinks, herbals drinks, sports / energy drinks and even food like a bar of chocolate.


Most importantly, breastfeeding mothers should eat balanced meals and keep yourself hydrated. The general rule of thumb is to avoid excessiveness, everything in moderation. This includes drinking coffee.


You’ve got this, mommas!